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Old 08-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
SBD Gone, now heavy breathing, gasping for air

I did a full water change about a week ago, and my betta, Neil, was completely fine for a few days. All of a sudden he lost his appetite and active behavior, later that day he seemed to have a swim bladder problem (swimming sideways). I did another full water change and stopped feeding him. The swim bladder problem seemed to go away rather quickly, but during the recommended 48 hours without food he has been breathing quite heavily at the surface of the water through his gills and then will suddenly gasp for air. He won’t even think about eating now, and I was hoping I could have some recommendations. The physical changes I’ve noticed is some silver lining around his gills (though that may have always been there) and his body appears to be more of an “S” shape. I’ve had him for 2.5 years, I hate to see him like this, and I don’t want him to be miserable and in pain.

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80 F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley Betta Food, pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

How often do you perform a water change? 50% 1-2 weeks. 100% monthly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Yes

Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 50 ppm
Alkalinity: 80 – 100 ppm

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Silver lining by gills, distinctive “S” shape
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No eating, lethargic, heavy breathing, gasping for air. Usually very active, always flaring.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3-4 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? Water changes, stopped feeding.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, never.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Purchased 2.5 years ago.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:10 AM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta is not looks and sounds like age related symptoms......however, I would go ahead and start him on Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) 2tsp/gal and if you have tannins to add all the better...either IAL or dried oak leaf...I would keep him in his tank and not QT him, but...if he seems to be struggling to swim-You may want to lower the water level by at least half...make 50% twice weekly water changes using some premixed treatment water to maintain Epsom salt dosage and tannins, cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ and turn off the lights....

Premixed treatment water-use a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins-let this steep to release tannins and the salt to dissolve and use this water for the 50% twice weekly water changes....

Offer food and remove if he refuses....if you have access to live food like mosquito larva that may help stimulate his feeding response.....

Good luck and keep us posted....he is a lovely fella by the way......
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #3 
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Great, I will definitely try these things. Thank you.
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